Perspective: How Poetry Saved Me


Drawing by Kaimar Liivamagi

I suppressed my creativity for most of my life because I forced myself to believe I wasn’t creative.

When I went through a traumatic experience that ignited years of depression, I was distraught, and did not know how to express my emotions. A good friend of mine advised me to write down my feelings.

That’s when my creativity was rekindled. Writing became the outlet for my suppressed aggression and frustration. I had a small black notebook which I spilled my heart into. It was the only ear I had at times.

Whenever I felt like crying, whenever everything was too much, I wrote. Whenever I was over-the-top happy, I wrote. Whenever I was angry, I wrote. My small stories, long speeches, and random phrases turned into something more. These stories transformed into poems I could proudly call mine. I became a poet.

I remember the day that I acknowledged my depression. I felt nothing like myself for almost a year, but I was too stubborn to ask for help. I was too stubborn to admit to myself that “yes, I am depressed.”




That word triggers countless memories of sleepless nights, nightmares, and weeks of crying. I had lost who I was. I was a hollow body with a dead soul. I had begun to lose all hope. I stopped caring about everything. I was in a vicious cycle and didn’t know how to pull myself out.

I grew up in a culture where depression and mental health issues are taboo. There wasn’t anyone I could talk to. I had to suffer on my own. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how to fix it. (1)

It felt like I had so many living nightmares inside my head. Each poem was a way to let go of one. To let go of a memory that I didn’t have to hold on to. (2)

Writing is my therapy. It’s the tool I use to listen to my heart. To understand what my mind, soul, and heart need. My poems were my heart crying for help. I discovered things about myself I never knew before. It showed me the depth of my soul.


My poems are bookmarks of my journey. The arc of my creations helps me see how far I have come. It has helped me understand that reaching rock bottom doesn’t mean that I’ll stay there forever. (3)

Depression was hard, but being out of it is just as hard. It feels like I lost who I was. The road to rediscover myself is decorated by poems on the sidelines. They have helped guide me along the right path. I have been redefining the premises of “myself.” (4)

My poems symbolize my strength. I am capable of being vulnerable yet powerful. Poetry defines the resilience of my heart and the power of my mind.

The poems I write may speak to many or they may speak to few. But they always speak to me. They listen to me. They voice my worries, fears, and nightmares. It was the way I escaped the worst in my life.

Pen and paper were all I needed. They truly saved me. (5)


Pen and paper are all you need. Write. Write anything and everything. Your writing will listen to you. It will speak to you. It will let you know what you are feeling. It will transform you. It will give you a raw, accurate record of your emotions. It will help you see the light, even if it seems so far away.

Just remember to always be genuine and truthful with yourself.  (6)



R  E M  A I N  S

i was once a blossomed field of roses

    then you came

now i’m the remains of a forest fire



L  E A  V E

i can always feel you

in the back of my throat

   i know you are here

when my chest bangs painfully

when my mind goes blurry

and my heart goes insane

… please leave me alone …



H  O P  E

it took so much out of me to listen

to the small voice

in the corner of my mind

screaming “this is not the end

don’t let it be”


4) P  A I N

it took a while to remember

the way my mouth curves up

the way my eyes squint in glee

the way my laugh sounds

the way my mind lives with

      no pain weighing it down


5) S A V E D

i used this pencil and blank paper

as distractions

but they untamed the beast

they broke the shackles that held me at bay

and i can never be more thankful

they truly saved me



T  R U  T H

“how are you?”

        “I’m alive and living”

the simplest most beautiful truth